“Every Life is Precious…Except for Roaches”

It wouldn’t be my life unless I had an emotional run-in with some type of nocturnal rodent, critter, pest at least once a year. I guess today’s my anniversary -_-.

Yesterday marked 6 months in Korea, meaning there are only 6 left to go! Of course, I’m thinking about what my next steps will be. As per usual, I ALWAYS google what pests are prominent in any area I’m going to travel to. People always seem to overlook this minor detail- until they get to their destination and realize they are sorely unprepared! NOT ME! After spending about an hour reading blogs about tree rats and cockroaches the size of small dogs, I shut my computer off. I went to the bathroom before bed and when I turned on the lights, there it was: a huge roach scuttling around the floor! I have to mention that I was topless since my room was hot and was about to hop in the shower AND I was wearing a pair of glasses that are being held together by about three rolls of scotch tape. I scream, my glasses fall off and break into pieces and I can’t seem to find a slipper or shoe to go to town on this thing. Naked, blind, and too scared to move, I did the next best thing: I grabbed a bottle of air freshener and sprayed the roach until it was paralyzed and drowning.

I should also mention that I’ve been on a bit of a “spiritual” kick lately, which means practicing mindfulness and remaining calm instead of freaking out. I decided to let this creature live the rest of its moments out on a sticky trap I keep in the bathroom (I guess it’s not working). I figured that would be better than smashing it to death. So I grab some wet wipes (200 to be exact) and pick the thing up to drop it on the trap. Remember, my glasses are lying in shreds on the floor, so I can’t exactly see what’s going on. I’m shaking the wipe atop the trap and nothing is happening. Then I feel it- or them, I should say. Sticky legs CLUTCHING to my palm. The roach had SOMEHOW shaken off the perfume poison and regained enough strength to escape from the cluster of wet wipes. That’s when the Chicago in me came out….

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I grabbed my high heels and just….

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Instead of hardwood floors, Korea has this plastic flooring that LOOKS like hardwood floors and they just shape it to your room and basically roll it out. BUT underneath this weird, plastic covering there are bugs. Silverfish, ants, roaches, etc. Sometimes if I move a chair or my desk around, the flooring squishes up and some of the floor is exposed and unless I stick it back in place, a bug or two usually pops up! Lately, there have been more and more sightings of bugs in my place. I’m not sure if it’s because the weather is changing or someone in my building is just a dirty, trash bag human BUT I’m not playing anymore. Tomorrow, I WILL be getting some bug bombs and going to tooooooooown!

Anyways, I mentioned that I have three new co-teachers this term, but I failed to mention that one of the new ones is Lord Voldemort’s good friend  -___-.  She’s been a real treat lately. Not to mention that she’s also two months pregnant and will only get better as those pregnancy hormones start to kick in. I’m sure I’ll have more on her later. Till then, my new mantra while meditating is: 6 months. Om. 6 MONTHS.

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“Welcome Back, Upper East Siders”

WHERE HAVE I BEEN? Korean Thanksgiving just ended and it’s back to work! What did I do during my five day vacation? It was basically a lot of

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And

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PLUS

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Yeah, that’s right. I’ve been on a five day “Gossip Girl” binge, so it’s time to stop making lists and start dishing out some gossip about what’s been happening in Korea lately. Summer is over and fall in Korea is starting up. With it brings a new semester. “But Sabrina, you JUST said summer was over! Don’t you mean a new school year is starting?” is what you might be thinking BUT no. In Korea, the school year ends in February and a new one starts in March. It’s literally just the next week. No break. Kids come back from winter vacation in February and finish out the year and then they start a new year the first week of March.

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With the new semester came an amazing schedule change that I am so grateful for. I am at my worst school on Mondays and Tuesdays now and my good school the rest of the week. Even though it seems like it would be awful to start the week off at my bad school, I could not be happier! I used to leave there every Friday so anxious, stressed, sad, angry, depressed- you name it! That would carry on through the weekend and would kill the nice, warm feelings I got from my first school. Now I can just get through Mondays and Tuesdays and look forward to the rest of the week

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BUT as you should all know by now, when something good happens to you in Korea, something bad also has to happen. It’s called the law of “Fuck You” and Korea takes the law VERY seriously. My “good” school ended up giving me a two-hour conversation club with the the teachers in my school and on the first day, one of the older teachers just looked at me, unimpressed, and said, “I like to be the boss. In control.”

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That was day one of our class. She pretty much stayed that way the rest of class and demanded more time for several activities. I obliged because I have no desire to be there anyways. ALSO two of the three days I am there, I have five classes IN A ROW. If I sound like a baby, let me explain. Having four classes sucks already BUT adding that fifth class? AND it’s after lunch?! It’s just a stab through the heart. Teaching is really repetitive and after doing the same lesson three times, you’re ready to blow your brains out. FIVE TIMES THOUGH?! Believe me, I would not wish that on ANYONE! By fifth period, everything smells like ass and no one wants to be there. The kids just ate lunch and are getting ready to go to their second schools. PLUS if you have a co-teacher who plans the whole lesson and just has you standing around or even if you plan the lesson, it’s awful! Even if you could show a movie for each lesson, you would be so done with seeing the same scenes five times in a row. Having two of those classes a week is seriously tough titties and I’m still trying to develop a coping mechanism to get through it. But I do have Thursdays completely free now, which makes getting through Wednesday and getting to Friday bearable. At my bad school, I’ve been given an 8:30 AM Writing Club to START Mondays off with. Ah Korea…

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Last, but not least, I now have three new co-teachers. If you read my blog regularly, you’ll remember that one of my co-teachers “Chicken Little” suffers from a combination of having no life and being extremely nosy. Praise the lord though BECAUSE if you ask, he or she will deliver! I had to ask about a million times though, but I have limited contact with her now. I only teach with her on Mondays for two periods and then I run upstairs to teach with a different teacher. On Tuesdays, Chicken Little works at another school. It’s honestly so amazing that my first Tuesday back, I asked if she was sick and my office mate said, “Oh, you didn’t know? She goes to another school on Tuesdays…” I played it cool on the outside, but on the inside I just…

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They might as well have told me that I was now the owner of a villa in Tuscany next door to Cristiano Ronaldo and he had just been in a weird accident which makes it too hard for him to wear pants! I couldn’t believe it! It was quite the joyous occasion. But as I said, with all good news in Korea…My two new co-teachers are characters- one of them is an evil bitchy stepmother (though she’s only 23) and the other one looks likes Hatsumomo from “Memoirs of a Geisha” and I’m scared that at any moment, she’s gonna accuse me of making her things smell because I touched them. It’s crazy, but they can both be managed and aren’t causing any new issues…yet.

Going back to Chicken Little, today has been QUITE the circus thanks to her. If you recall, anytime I get a message from her, it’s actually a foreshadowing of bad shit to come. Sunday night (yesterday) I was out enjoying the last day of vacation. I had just gotten out of a movie and was on my way home when I see her name pop up on my phone. My first instinct was to throw my phone in front of an oncoming bus. I decided against it and opened the message… She was asking if I had planned anything for tomorrow’s lesson. Remember: I’ve been teaching with her for 6 months. I have planned a lesson EVERY WEEK for basically 6 months. She KNOWS I have something planned. It seems like a fairly innocent question, but come on now! How would I even show her the lesson I did have? Koreans aren’t as into email as we are, so it’s not like I can email her the lesson. PLUS we come into work way before class starts. FINALLY, I never show her my lessons! I just tell her what I’m doing and none of my lessons EVER require anything from her that she would need advanced warning for! My eye was already twitching. She knew what she was doing- being a pest because of the aforementioned “no life” thing. I just wrote back that I had something planned and she didn’t even respond…

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Today rolls around and we head up to class. Now class starts at 9:00 AM and I like to go to the classroom early so I can load up my PowerPoint and get situated for the day. Unfortunately, she is always sitting at her computer, diligently working until 8:58 when she suddenly looks up and says, “Oh Sobe! We have class, let’s go!” By the time we get up there, the kids are already in the hallway and we have to open the door, start the computer, etc. It’s at this point where one would DEDUCE that since I am hastily trying to log into my email, download the materials, and just get ready SHE would keep the kids busy. Maybe ask them about their weekend, etc. BUT no…she just stands there, watching them, watching me, watching us. She says nothing. The kids just sit there looking at me and I’m all

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KEEP IN MIND that she has plenty of experience teaching without me! It’s the most awkward 2-3 minutes of my life and it’s a guaranteed event every Monday. Moving forward, I start the class, I’m getting into the swing of things, and I make a beautiful transition to my PowerPoint. I’m asking the kids questions, etc and she just looks at me and says, “Oh Sobe. They are not on this lesson. They are on the lesson from last time. I couldn’t teach it and I forgot to tell you…”

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I had to start the whole process again and find the materials from last week WHILE still keeping the kids entertained because Chicken Little was busy practicing staring at her feet. I do believe she’s in training for the 2020 Olympics. By this point, we’ve wasted about 20 minutes of a 40 minute class. We keep it moving and the kids watch a short video from their textbook to help them practice the language EXCEPT the kid in the book has a hearty Spanish accent…he was ASIAN! So NOW the kids are repeating what they hear and are saying the words “robot” and “Can you help me, please?” with this accent and I’m subtly trying to correct it, but it was too late. They are now the same as the kid in the book! FINALLY the class comes to a close and Chicken Little is doing the goodbye portion when one of the kids start squealing and crying… I look at her to get the gist of what’s going on and she just pretends nothing is happening and sends them on their way. By this time, I’m exhausted. It’s as if I spent an eternity in this hellhole with her and she just comes out without a scar. I will have my revenge on her ONE day.

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That’s all for today. I’ve had a stomachache for about a month now with no known causes OR cures, but I think working with Satan might be a contributing factor. Thanks for reading this blog and as per usual, if you find that I’m complaining and whining, etc, you’re probably right…but so what? No one asked you. You’re obviously obsessed with me if you keep reading these and no matter what I write, that’s not gonna change.

XOXO,
Gossip Girl